Shawne Merriman's addition to the Bills roster Wednesday should serve as a welcome shot in the arm to a team that lacks a proven NFL pass rusher. Fellow linebacker Aaron Maybin certainly sees it that way. However, the former first-round pick who is still feeling his way in the NFL believes Merriman can help him improve his game as well.
"It's definitely exciting to have an opportunity to have a guy like that come out here and having a chance to learn whatever you can learn from him," said Maybin.
Maybin almost followed Merriman to the University of Maryland. The former Terp hosted Maybin on his campus visit to Maryland when he was a highly recruited high school player. Obviously Maybin wound up choosing Penn State.
"We've known each other probably about eight years," said Maybin. "We both grew up in the same area in Maryland. We've been friends for some time."
Merriman grew up in Upper Marlboro, Maryland a suburb of Washington D.C., while Maybin grew up about an hour north in Ellicotty City, just outside of Baltimore.
The two linebackers have traveled in the same circles during NFL offseasons back home, but it's rarely dealt with football.
"We've never actually trained together, but in the offseason we usually spend a decent amount of time together just because we're so close as far as proximity goes," said Maybin.
Now having him as a teammate, Maybin hopes football can become a much bigger part of what they share as friends.
"What he's done in his career speaks for itself really," Maybin said. "He's definitely an electrifying playmaker on the defensive side of the football. Having a chance to work with him, especially being somebody that you already have a personal relationship with it's good."